Africa’s Urbanisation Dynamics 2022

The Economic Power of Africa’s Cities

image of Africa’s Urbanisation Dynamics 2022

This report provides a new perspective on Africa’s urban economies that is unique in its breadth and level of detail. Based on data from more than 4 million individuals and firms in 2 600 cities across 34 countries, it presents compelling evidence that urbanisation contributes to better economic outcomes and higher living standards. It shows that across most socio-economic dimensions, cities significantly outperform the countries in which they are located. In Africa, urbanisation accounts for approximately 30% of the growth in per capita gross domestic product (GDP) over the past 20 years. Importantly, the gains from urbanisation on economic performance and quality of life extend beyond city boundaries, also benefiting rural areas. The report also shows that transnational clusters of cities are emerging along coasts as well as inland, offering new opportunities for economic development. Based on these findings, the report sets forth policy priorities at national and local levels that are essential to realise the potential of urbanisation. Among these, it argues that the role of cities should be fully anchored in national development planning. Moreover, local governments need greater fiscal and administrative capacity to become key actors in economic development.

English Also available in: French

Anchoring the role of cities in national economic planning

This chapter outlines how important it is to draw up a roadmap for thefuture of cities in national economic strategies. Co‑ordinating and designingpolicies at both the national and the local level is vital for every region of acountry and every sector of the economy. The chapter offers an overview ofseveral aspects of national policy that national governments can consider tosupport and boost the economic performance of cities and, in particular, itemphasises the importance of investing in human capital, infrastructure andpublic institutions. The final section of the chapter describes a variety of policy packages and measures that governments can draw upon to bring cities to the forefront of national economic policy.

English Also available in: French

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